Ezekiel speaks through prophesies and parables

Ezek 12:1-16   Ezekiel digs a hole in the wall of his house and departs like a refugee in the night – as a prophesy of how King Zedekiah will escape from his palace in Jerusalem before being captured and taken to Babylon (see 2 Kings 25:4-7).

Ezek 13:1-23   Ezekiel speaks out against false prophets and women who use charm bracelets and magic veils to control people.

 

Gold charm bracelet (Mabsal)

Gold charm bracelets were used to cast 'magic' spells  (Mabsal)

 

Ezek 14:1-21   Ezekiel prophesies that God will punish Jerusalem with wars, famine, wild animals and disease.

Ezek 15:1-8   Ezekiel uses a vine as a parable – just as the wood from a grapevine is useless for anything except burning, so too Jerusalem will be burned.

Ezek 16-17   Ezekiel tells two further parables – one about a faithless woman and the other about two nest-building eagles.

 

The Parables of Ezekiel

The prophet Ezekiel used ‘parables’ – stories with a deeper spiritual meaning – in the same way that Jesus frequently used parables to explain the truths about the kingdom of God some six hundred years later.

In Chapter 16, Ezekiel used the story of a faithless woman as a parable for the unfaithfulness of Jerusalem. The message of the story was made quite clear: the people of Jerusalem had rejected God just as the unfaithful woman in the story had rejected her husband.

In the next chapter, Ezekiel told a parable about two eagles building nests. One used branches from a well-watered, tall Lebanese cedar, while the other built its nest in a low spreading vine in the dry hill-country of Judah, dried out by a strong wind from the east.

Ezekiel, like Jesus, then explained the meaning of the parable. The first eagle represented the successful years of prosperous trading with surrounding nations such as Tyre, when the Temple and the royal palace were built by King Solomon and lined with expensive cedars from Lebanon. The second eagle represented the fate of Jerusalem in Ezekiel’s day. The royal line of Judah would be broken by a strong power from the east (Babylon), and punished for breaking its treaty and conspiring with Egypt, just as the second eagle had easily snapped the fragile branches off the dried-out vine.

 

Cedars of Lebanon in the Barouk Forest (Yhabbouche)

Lebanese cedars in the Barouk Forest   (Yhabbouche)

 

Ezek 18:1-32   Ezekiel speaks out against the saying, “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and that caused the children to grind their teeth from the sour taste” (see Jeremiah 31:29). Ezekiel says that God will reward any person who turns away from evil – and a righteous son will not be punished for the sins of his father.

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